When I first learned that I would be coming to Samoa, my cousins in Hawaii tried to teach me a few words, but it went in one ear and out the other…
My first few weeks in this country I remember walking along the sea wall telling everyone, “Manuia le aso,” or any other polite phrases that I learned in class.
It was a slow, long hard journey to learn this language, but when I finished training, I was told that my skills had reached intermediate middle, which really impressed me.
Teaching English, I knew it would remain a difficult journey as you need to find the right balance of speaking English with the children and Samoan to practice for yourself in order to communicate with everyone else.
However, in the end, I somehow managed to make it work.
I am coming back to America with an Advanced low achievement on my Samoan proficiency test. (I was told It would have been higher as my understanding is comprehensive and I can respond, however, my grammar is off.)
So if you see me wandering around the US speaking Samoan, feel free to say, “Manuia le aso,” in return…it will make my day.
O a’u poto teine….ma aulelei…ma teiene le fefe…ma o le teine o le tama uma mana’o! haha